Republican pro-LGBT lawmaker defeated in GOP primary challenge

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A Republican Member of the Missouri House of Representatives has been defeated in a GOP Primary, after an aggressive anti-LGBT campaign against her. State congresswoman Anne Zerr has sat in the House since 2008, and was making a bid for State Senate.

She attracted the ire of evangelicals and anti-LGBT groups in April this year, when she broke a deadlocked committee vote by deciding to vote with the Democrats against SJR 39, a proposed constitutional amendment that would have actively permitted discrimination on the grounds of sexuality. After the vote, the National Organization for Marriage vowed to “end her political career”, heavily pumping resources into supporting a primary challenge from conservative Bill Eigel. The group started the National Organization for Marriage in Missouri PAC aimed at unseating Zerr.

With 27,643 votes cast, Eigel was victorious in this week’s primary – edging out Zerr by just 385 votes. NOM president Brian Brown gloated: “Anne Zerr betrayed her constituents and the people of Missouri when she sided with LGBT extremists to defeat SJR 39, which would have given voters the right to protect supporters of marriage from discrimination by governmental entities.

“We did what we promised and went after her, and I couldn’t be happier that she has been defeated.
“Zerr joins a long list of Republicans who have ended their political careers by voting against the interests of people who support marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
The group pledged to round on other Republican lawmakers who also broke ranks to oppose the legislation, saying: “Whether it takes a few months or several years, we will not rest until all three Missouri Republicans who betrayed supporters of marriage are out of office. Zerr was first, Hansen and Rowan are next.” It is unclear how much influence the group actually has, as Zerr was already under fire over a labour law dispute.

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